Probe launched into East Ham rubbish bonfires

Council officers have launched an investigation after residents reported large quanities of rubbish being dumped and burnt in an alleyway.

The mainly elderly residents of Friar House, in St Stephens Road, in East Ham, all share a communal garden that backs on to an alleyway accessible to shopkeepers.

The St Stephens Tenants Association, which represents the residents, said the problem has now become so severe that rubbish is regularly burnt, prompting the fire brigade to be called out on numerous occasions.

Pat Mcdonald, one of the residents, said forklift trucks had been used by one of the shops to dump pallets and had broken a wall. This meant discarded boxes and wooden pallets fell into their garden and flames often reached into it when the rubbish was burnt. Sometimes the flames are 20 feet high. Nearby are gas cylinders.

On one occasion a thrown pallet had hit her on her head. Although she has taken the issue up with the people dumping the rubbish, she said they just laughed at her and carried on as before.


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She said: “It looks like a scrap yard down there will all those containers. There is food in the containers and now we are getting the pigeons flying in and because there is rice, flour and all sorts of food there.”

Newham Council launched an investigation after the Recorder alerted it to the situation in the alleyway.

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A spokeswoman told the Recorder: “The businesses that have been dumping rubbish in this alleyway have been breaching a number of rules and regulations, including planning and health and safety.

“This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. A thorough investigation is being carried out into their actions and we have already issued fixed penalty notices.

“We will continue to take action against those that flout the law, and need more people to continue to report incidents of dumped rubbish and anti-social behaviour to us on 0800 731 3300.”

A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade confirmed that officers had been called several times to deal with incidents. He also said the brigade’s fire safety teams were looking into the situation to see if there are any safety issues.

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